Job guarantees for elders should be dropped, said a United Methodist Church panel in an interim report.
The Commission to Study the Ministry declared that the so-called "guaranteed appointment" system is a major factor contributing to mediocrity and ineffectiveness among leaders, as reported by the United Methodist News Service.
"It allows people to coast rather than to continue to strive and to grow," said Seattle Area Bishop Grant Hagiya, a commission member. "What we need is the flexibility to maximize our leadership to those who are going to make a difference." more >>
The United Methodist Church rejected a number of amendments to the church's constitution, including one on the inclusiveness of church membership.
The amendment stating, "All persons shall be eligible to attend its worship services, participate in its programs, receive the sacraments, and upon baptism be admitted as baptized members," did not receive a majority of votes to be ratified, the Council of Bishops announced Tuesday.
Some had feared the amendment would challenge the United Methodist Church's current position that homosexual practice is incompatible with Christian teaching. more >>
More than a thousand United Methodist churches have begun to "change the world" through radical service this weekend.
The April 24-25 initiative is intended to get the nearly 8 million-member denomination out from the pews and into local and global communities where they can make an impact.
"Change the World challenges the people of The United Methodist Church to see the world holistically by giving and serving beyond the four walls of sanctuaries and Sunday school classrooms," said the Rev. Larry Hollon, chief executive of United Methodist Communications. "Our hope is that not only will church members participate, they will invite neighbors in the community to work side-by-side with them to make a sustainable difference in diverse ways." more >>
Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday denied a last-minute request by traditional marriage supporters to stop Washington, D.C.'s same-sex marriage law from taking effect.
As a "matter of judicial policy," Roberts said in an opinion that it has been the practice of the U.S. Supreme Court not to intervene in local matters.
The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009, permitting same-sex couples to marry in the District of Columbia, went into effect Wednesday. Gay and lesbian couples began applying for marriage licenses with the D.C. Superior Court early morning. more >>
A former United Methodist Church pastor who now leads a fast-growing nondenominational multi-site church has offered the struggling denomination some advice.
Craig Groeschel, founder and senior pastor of LifeChurch.tv., was asked by a United Methodist leader to provide a few suggestions for the 7.8 million-member denomination as it struggles with membership decline and division.
Agreeing to share some of his thoughts, the Oklahoma City pastor devoted his daily blog posts this week to "Suggestions for My UMC Friends." more >>
Mainline Protestant churches are the target of a new campaign that urges "loud," rather than silent, support for gays and lesbians.
Though mainline denominations already welcome LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) persons, the multifaith group Intersections says it's not enough.
"[W]e must sing their welcoming as loudly as we sing the hymns," the group declares. more >>